Scientific Name: Ganoderma lucidum
The fantastical and visually intriguing Reishi are actually polypores whose naturally lacquered surface emphasizes their brilliant rusty red and buttery yellow hues. Grown primarily as a medicinal mushroom (their Chinese nameLing Zhi translate as mushroom of immortality), they are easily dried for use in teas or decorations.
Cultivation: Reishi will grow outdoors on natural logs (best in southern USA, can also be grown in the north if logs are protected from below freezing temperatures during the winter and the fruiting season is extended through cold frames or greenhouses in the fall), or in sterilized sawdust for indoor cultivation. Careful manipulation of light,temperature, humidity and CO2 levels present when fruiting occurs determines which of two forms Reishi will take. The seashell like CONCH shape develops with abundant light levels, high humidity, high levels of oxygen and plenty of airflow. The elegantly branched ANTLER shape forms in conditions of moderate light,high humidity, high CO2 levels and minimal airflow readily achieved with use of a clear plastic bag or large glass jar. Spawn is available in both sawdust and plugs for natural log cultivation, and table top farms.
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